Our Group:

Alexei Maklakov (Professor of Evolutionary Biology and Biogerontology, Director of Research at BIO UEA):





Hanne Carlsson (Lab manager and Research Associate): Hanne has been working in our lab for 2 years as a research assistant, and then continued to do her MSc degree on ‘Parental age effects on longevity and ageing’. Her MSc project was a collaboration with the Lind lab at Uppsala University and was co-supervised my Martin Lind and myself. Now Hanne is Research Associate at UEA and organises the life in the lab, as well as running her own projects and helping on the projects of the group members. IMG_8492 (1)




Dr. Elizabeth Duxbury (ERC-funded Senior Postdoctoral Research Associate): Transgenerational consequences of lifespan extension, testing trade off theories, linking proximate and evolutionary theories of ageing; combining genetic tools (RNAi, mutant strains, NGS) with experimental evolution and life history assays. Previously, conducted PhD research into the sex-specific life history effects of dietary manipulation, with Tracey Chapman (UEA). Most recently explored the evolution and genetics of virus resistance in natural populations of fruit fly species, with Frank Jiggins in the Department of Genetics, University of Cambridge.Photo for website








Dr. Zahida Sultanova (ERC-funded postdoc): Zahida has begun her ageing-career by trying to understand why ageing evolved; now she is trying to find the ways to slow it down. During her PhD, she looked for the answers to a broad range of questions about the evolution and mechanisms of sex-specific ageing. In her post-doc project with us, she is exploring the link between different fasting regimes and nutrient-sensing signalling pathways. She hopes to find the optimal way to increase lifespan by playing with the diet, gene expression and pharmaceuticals. zahida 1


Annabel Kimberley (ERC-funded Research Technician): Annabel joined our lab in Autumn 2021. She is currently working on transient early-life effects on fitness and ageing using life-span extending pharmacological, genetic and dietary treatments. Annabel also provides general assistance across the group’s projects.


Yvonne Ridge (ERC-funded Research Technician): Yvonne joined our lab in Autumn 2021. She is currently working on transient early-life effects on fitness and ageing using life-span extending pharmacological, genetic and dietary treatments. Yvonne also provides general assistance across the group’s projects.Yvonne

Dr. Ramakrishnan Vasudeva (NERC-funded Senior Research Associate): I am interested in understanding the impacts of thermal stress through reproduction and its consequences on individuals and populations using experimental approaches. I am interested in the consequences of plastic responses within primary reproductive traits in insect models. More recent work has focused on male-specific reproductive sensitivities to experimental heatwave scenarios and its impacts on fitness. Other areas of work involve postcopulatory sexual selection using experimental evolution. 


Ben Cole (BBSRC-funded PhD student): Ben has a general interest in how climate change is impacting insects, with a particular focus on fertility. He is currently exploring the links between heatwave conditions of varying length and sex-specific reproductive damage. He is currently using a model beetle (Tribolium castaneum) to investigate this and aims to explore these links further within the Insect Class.Picture3

Sara Irish (ERC-funded PhD student with Prof. Simone Immler): I am primarily interested in exploring the reasons behind why ageing has evolved. By combining both experimental and field research techniques in a model organism, my PhD project will investigate the costs and potential trade-offs involved in experimentally extending lifespan in the presence of real-world environmental stressors. I am also interested in the role of ageing in population dynamics and how our understanding of this could influence conservation efforts. IMG_20200729_100617_2 (2)



Katie Johnson (MSci student): Katie joined our lab to run a project on the role of insulin/IGF-1 signalling in anti-viral immunity in C. elegans in collaboration with Liz Duxbury.

Katie Johnson


Edward Ivimey-Cook (BBSRC-funded Senior Postdoctoral Research Associate): Ed has a general interest in ageing, maternal effects, and quantitative genetics. In particular, he is interested in understanding how biological processes and life-history trade-offs contribute to the vast observed diversity in trait ageing trajectories. In the current project, he is exploring links between life history trade-offs and transgenerational effects on offspring performance. For his PhD, he used experimental and widescale comparative analyses to investigate the detrimental effects of increasing maternal age manifested on offspring traits. Additionally, he explored the relative contribution of natural selection in helping to shape the vast diversity of ageing patterns that exists across the tree-of-life.DSC_0052



Laura Travers (ERC-funded Senior Postdoctoral Research Associate): Laura has a broad interest in ageing, sexual selection, and evolutionary genetics. In particular, she is interested in understanding how trade-offs between life history traits such as reproduction and lifespan drive evolutionary change. In the current project, she is exploring links between evolutionary and proximate causes of ageing. For her PhD, she investigated the evolutionary basis and consequences of multiple mating in females.pic_Laura


Kris Sales (full-time BBSRC-funded Research Technician): Kris was primarily linked to a project exploring the trans-generational consequences of life-history trade-offs, using life-span extending pharmacological and dietary treatments. However, he also provides general assistance across the group’s projects. Kris has broad interest in using laboratory experiments to elucidate what factors drive the variation in longevity, reproduction and behaviour. His PhD, with Matt Gage (UEA), investigated the impact of climate warming and heatwaves on reproduction in male insects using Tribolium castaenum. image010


Zoe de Pasquale-Crighton (full-time BBSRC-funded Research Technician): Zoe joined our lab in the end of 2020. She primarily linked with a project exploring the trans-generational consequences of life-history trade-offs, using life-span extending pharmacological, genetic and dietary treatments. She also provides general assistance across the group’s projects.


Nathan Edden (full-time ERC-funded Research Technician): Nathan joined our lab in the end of 2020. He is funded by the project aimed at improving our understanding of the evolutionary causes of ageing. He also provides general assiatnce across the group’s projects.Nathan


David Murray (full-time ERC-funded Research Technician): Collaborative project with Simone Immler’s group to work on ageing and reproduction in zebrafish. David heled to maintain the stocks and conducted experimental work. David has a long-standing interest in aquatic ecosystems and, after finishing his PhD in Glasgow, worked in Vienna and Berlin, and, most recently, at UEA in Matt Gage’s lab. He has broad interests in sustainable aquaculture, conservation biology and phenotypic plasticity. iceland1


Antoine Dehem (visiting MSc student, ENS de Lyon): Antoine is studying towards Master’s degree in Biology at ENS de Lyon and is doing a 5-month internship in our lab. Antoine’s project focuses on the effects of RNAi inhibition of raga-1 gene in C. elegans. raga-1 responds to the presence of amino acids to activate the evolutionarily conserved target-of-rapamycin complex 1 (TORC1) pathway, and plays an important role in growth, reproduction and longevity. Antoine is studying whether adulthood-only inhibition of raga-1 can uncouple positive effects on survival and negative effects on growth and reproduction.

Caroline Devaux (visiting student with Simone Immler, from UniLaSalle Beauvais, France): Caroline is visiting Simone Immler‘s lab and is participating in a joint project on the transgenerational effects of dietary restriction on fitness and ageing in nematodesCaroline


Mathilde Durieux (visiting student with Simone Immler, from UniLaSalle Beauvais, France): Mathilde is visiting Simone Immler‘s lab and is participating in a joint project on the transgenerational effects of dietary restriction on fitness and ageing in nematodesMathilde


Foteini Spagopoulou (ERC-co-funded PhD student at Uppsala University): Condition-dependence of sexual dimorphism in ageing in the lab and in the wild.


Sanjana Ravindran (Project student): Sanjana is taking an Erasmus Mundus International Master (IMIM) in Innovative Medicine, and is investigating fitness costs of lifespan extension by combining life-history assays with manipulations of target genetic pathways in C. elegans. The project is a collaboration between our lab and the Lind lab. Sanjana is now participating in Hosts, Pathogens and Global Health PhD programme at the University of Edinburgh.sanjana


Martyna Zwoinska (ERC-funded PhD student): Sexual dimorphism in life-history and cognitive ageing. Martyna is now doing postdoc at Stockholm University with Rhonda Snook.


Elisabeth Bolund (Wenner-Gren Fellow): Elisabeth has been working on sexual conflictIMG_8567 (1) over life-history traits in humans with Virpi Lummaa in Sheffield and she will continue this line of work in our lab. Elisabeth is a second postdoc in our lab who received a highly competitive “young group leader” funding from the Swedish Research Council (VR) and she started her own lab at our department in 2016.


Tuuli Larva (full time RA, Nematode Lab) Tuuli


Johan Andersson (full time RA, Nematode Lab) johan


Anna Vourlou (part-time RA, Drosophila Lab)Anna


Therese Krieg (full time RA with Simone Immler, Therese KriegNematode Lab)


Maja Ericsson (full time RA, Drosophila Lab). Maja worked together with Anna Vourlou on dietary restriction and ageing in fruit flies. She went on to do a PhD in BMC. Maja


Sara Meurling (full time RA, Nematode Lab). Sara went on to do a PhD on the conservation biology of frogs with Anssi Laurila and Jacob Höglund at our department.  IMG_8614 (1)


Hwei-yen Chen (PhD student): Evolutionary biology of ageing. Hwei-yen defended her thesis in the end of 2014 and started a postdoc with Simone Immler at the Department of Evolutionary Biology.


Björn Rogell (ERC-funded postdoc): Genomic study of ageing following experimental life-history evolution. Björn received a highly sought after “young group leader” position from Swedish Research Council (VR) and and started his own lab as assistant professor at Stockholm University.


Grigorios Georgolopoulos (RA, project and MSc student, Drosophila Lab, togetherIMG_0336 with Urban Friberg). Grigorios went to the US and is now working in the lab in Seattle. He is still actively collaborating with us and advising on fly routines.


Tao You (MSc student): Evolution of same-sex behaviour in male and female beetles (Beetle Lab, together with David Berger).



Mark Ramsden (full time RA, Nematode Lab): Mark has got a job and went back home to the UK.IMG_8471 (1)





Ana Cristina Guevara (Erasmus student and RA in Nematode Lab): How do long-livedPicture2 nematode strains perform in natural environment? Ana is now an RA in Göran Arnqvist’s lab.


Maria Cortazar (RA, Nematode Lab): Maria is now doing a PhD with Jacob Höglund andPicture4 Anssi Laurila here in our department.


Elena Berg (Carl Tryggers postdoctoral fellow): Intra-locus conflict, stress and ageing. Elena moved to take on a permanent position as Lecturer in American University in Paris (AUP)


David Berger (returning VR postdoc, co-hosted with Göran Arnqvist): Ageing, sexual conflict and evolution of metabolism. David is now an Assistant Professor in our department.


Mara Ruiz Minano (Erasmus student): Sexually antagonistic selection in adaptation to climate change


Felix Zajitschek (Wenner-Gren postdoctoral fellow): Nutritional stress and the evolution of ageing. Felix now moved with his partner Susi Zajitschek to GWU in Washington.


Cindy Canton (RA): Drosophila lab. Cindy also helped us with some heavy work on parental age effects in beetles and now continues working on Drosophila projects with Urban Friberg.


Ghazal Alavioon (RA): Beetle lab. Ghazal is now doing her MSc project in Simone Immler‘s  lab here at EBC. img_8988i-e1511366194495


Foteini Spagopoulou (MSc student): Evolution of male reproductive ageing under differential extrinsic mortality. Foteini will be joining our lab once again as a PhD student in 2013.

Jin Tuo (MSc student): Nutrition effects on late-life mortality plateaus


Margo Adler (visiting PhD student): Margo is now doing a postdoc in Locke Rowe’s lab margo-headshot-outside-798


William Widegren (MSc student): Intra-locus sexual conflict over lifespan

Bahareh Zaferani (MSc student, 2011): Evolution of male mating success during local adaptation in seed beetles

Cosima Hotzy (RA, 2011): Nematode and beetle lab; Cosima is now a PhD student in Simone Immler‘s lab at EBC.


Henrik Lysell (RA, 2011): Drosophila lab

Lorraine Burgevin (MSc student, 2011): Intra-locus sexual conflict and the evolution of same-sex behaviour in the seed beetle, Callosobruchus maculatus. Lorraine went on to conduct another internship back in France.

Katja Temnow (RA, 2010): Katja helped with our nematode project and since then moved to work on leaves at SLU. She is now back in Germany working at Bielefeld University.

Ilona Flis (RA, 2010): Ilona worked with Urban Friberg and myself on male harassment and mutation rates in Drosophila. She has moved to UK and now is working in Ted Morrow‘s lab in Sussex.

William Widegren (Research Trainee, 2010): Correlated evolution of sex-specific lifespan and mortality rates during adaptation to stressful environments in seed beetles. William continued to conduct MSc project in my lab.